Grad Student Exposes Massive Network Of Over 350,000 Fake Twitter Accounts

Finding Truth In an Illusory World

A computer scientist in London has stumbled upon massive networks of fake Twitter accounts – with the largest consisting of over 350,000 profiles – which may have been used to ‘fake‘ numbers of followers, send spam, and boost interest in trending topics.

On Twitter, bots are accounts that are run remotely by someone who automates the messages they send and activities they carry out.

Some people pay to get bots to follow their account or to dilute chatter about controversial subjects.

As The BBC reports, UK researchers accidentally uncovered the lurking networks while probing Twitter to see how people use it.

The network of 350,000 bots stood out because all the accounts in it shared several subtle characteristics that revealed they were linked. These included:

  • tweets coming from places where nobody lives
  • messages being posted only from…

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